Hindujas to donate 250,000 pounds for children of widows
S P Hinduja and G P Hinduja, chairman and president respectively of the Hinduja Group were also present. Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, First Lady of The Republic of Gabon, who was the Guest of Honour, also announced a donation of 50,000 pounds to the Foundation.
Speaking on the occasion, Cherie Blair, president of the Loomba Foundation, said the Foundation established in UK in 1997, has so far educated 6,221 children of poor widows in India and supported 27,000 family members. "Many of these students have already completed their studies after receiving scholarships for a period of five years or more. Currently there are 2,150 beneficiaries still attending their schools across 14 states in India. The problem has remained unidentified and undressed until the recent research study revealed that there are over 245 million widows and 500 million of their children worldwide. We are proud that through our tireless campaign the United Nations declared June 23 as International Widow`s Day last year," Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said.
Addressing the gathering, India`s acting High Commissioner Rajesh Prasad said "advancement of the weaker sections, including widows and their children is one of the top priorities of the Indian Government."
Nick Clegg, MP, leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister said "I am delighted to be here with you. "My ongoing commitment to educate as a way out of poverty is one of the many reasons I support the excellent work of the Loomba Foundation".
Bollywood actors Kajol and her husband Ajay Devgan were also present at the occasion. Kajol said "the plight of widows is unthinkable and without financial means, it is more scary. Education is the only way forward."